Supply Shack

Des shows off an upright banner made by Supply Shack

Pic: Helen Hanbury. Des shows off an upright banner made by Supply Shack

By Dave C

Tucked away in a small business park at the back of Hurn Airport, Supply Shack sells business supplies, printed stationery, signs and banners, point-of-sale material and branded merchandise. What makes it different to any other printer and stationer is that part of the profits the business makes get re-distributed, at the end of the financial year, to democratically chosen good causes.

This year they are supporting Life Education Wessex, specialists in providing high quality health and drug prevention education to children in Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset and helping to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to lead healthier and happier lives. Supply Shack’s previous charity partners are Diverse Abilities Plus, The Butterfly Foundation, Hannah House and Crumbs.

The business represents a joining of minds for co-directors Des Day and Caroline Pope, who are also partners in their personal lives. Caroline has 14 years experience in fundraising for a Southampton charity, while Day was a commercial director in a business supplies company. Day said: “There was a great synergy between what Caroline’s background and experience was in terms of non-profit and the charity sector and with myself being in the commercial business field so we’ve gelled/merged both of them together to deliver Supply Shack”.

Apart from the charity donations, they are giving back to the local community by taking on and training up apprentices. They are also trying to develop a project that will offer a back to work rehabilitation scheme for ex offenders and those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. This is so they can create more of an entrepreneurial route that will offer chances for people who have been socially excluded to set them off on a career path that will be a mini franchise of the business, so in essence they become their own boss, facilitated by Supply Shack.

On expansion, Day explained their early ideas were to build a brand because that was important for their business strategy and to use Supply Shack as the umbrella for the business. We thought we’d create various corporate divisions which would be My Gift Shack, Design Shack, Print Shack, Office Shack and Sign Shack and then we’re going to no doubt build on more shacks and employ more shackettes. We are currently talking with other businesses to bring them on board with us, they’ll have certain skill sets they can bring and add value to the company as well and certain types of equipment which will lend massive value to where the business is going. The important thing for us from a commercial point of view is to scale the business and the bigger we get the more sustainable we can become which means the more we can give back.”

For further information go to http://www.supplyshack.co.uk/index.php/contact-us

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Filed under Big Issue online journalism South West, Dave C, Features, Helen

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